Today I met a patient who told me something I find almost unbelievable.
A lady from Southampton had been suffering from varicose veins from an early age and in fact, she had already had her veins stripped many years before I first met her. The veins recurred and gradually her legs deteriorated with discolouration, thickening and itch. Over the years, she saw her family doctor who correctly diagnosed varicose eczema but she was told that nothing could be done. I met her for a consultation 6 months ago, confirmed she had varicose eczema and performed a duplex ultrasound scan which also confirmed superficial vein reflux that was suitable for laser. I felt that she was entitled to NHS treatment and I sent her family doctor the results of my findings together with a strong recommendation that she should have treatment as soon as possible to avoid further deterioration and ulceration.
That was 6 months ago and today I was shocked to meet her again and to be told that her case had been assessed by a panel of experts and that it had been decided that she
could not have NHS treatment as her condition was classified as cosmetic. With her permission, I am allowed to show you her clinical photographs. As you can see she has extensive varicose eczema and she also has scarring of the skin called atrophie blanche. This is the final stop on a journey of deterioration towards ulceration. To me and to most people, surely this is not cosmetic. Unfortunately, in this lady’s case, in some areas, the skin has been damaged beyond repair and now despite successful treatment of her veins, the skin will probably never return to normal. This lady has allowed me to share her story in the hope that others will not suffer the same fate.
If you have varicose eczema, get it treated early and it might well be at a stage where it can be cured.
Now, if you’re worried about your veins and would like a confidential chat please do get in touch. Our advisors are very happy to offer simple advice by telephone or email for free and without obligation. You can call and book an appointment direct without a referral from your GP on 01935 873951.
The VeinCare Centre also offers a screening assessment with our vascular technologist. For £25 you can have a scan with Wendy Parsons. She is not a doctor and so she cannot give you medical advice but she can check your deep veins and your varicose veins and give you an idea of how bad they are. If you would like to have an appointment with Wendy please call 01935 873 951